Lost in Cheeseland: Totally Tarte in Paris
Lost in Cheeseland exposes culinary cuteness in the form of Parisian tartes, at an affordable price as well.
For a country known for relatively small portion sizes, I am forever stuffed after eating out in Paris. I might attribute this to excessive baguette consumption, or even overly tempting dessert menus, but overall I think the small portion size is a fallacy.
It's no surprise that Paris is an expensive foodie city, and as I've discussed many times I find it very difficult to eat well cheaply. Of course, when you think about how much it costs a restaurant or shop to have employees (social charges), it's no wonder the food costs so much.
In any case, it is for this very reason that I often push myself beyond the point of satiation and into the realm of painful overindulgence. Though I have successfully been able to convince some waiters to wrap up my meal to take home, I'm more inclined to finish what's on my plate to justify the price and avoid any potentially unfortunate incidents with servers.
Brunch in Paris is a perfect example. It's an opportunity for restaurants to capitalize on the overwhelming trendiness of le brunch
by offering fixed menus between EUR 20 to 25 on average with more food than anyone should be allowed to consume in one sitting.
It's rarely worth the expensive price tag once you consider the belly-ache that usually makes its appearance by the second course. But people are willing to fork over the money for an all-afternoon binge fest with friends.
The offering usually consists of a glass of juice, choice of tea/coffee or hot chocolate, a basket of toasted baguette and your choice of pastry served with bowls of jams and nutella, some form of an omelette (I love the smoked salmon option) or burger, more baguette, and a selection of desserts which undoubtedly includes pancakes. That may not sound like a lot, but it is rather daunting once it's in front of you.
But, there are places that go about brunch a bit differently. High on the trendiness factor and originality, Tartes Kluger is one such spot. Sweet and savory tartes made with all-natural ingredients and organic wherever possible, Tartes Kluger has that certain something extra.
Located in the haut-marais in an old workshop redesigned as an industrial loft with visible bricks and long, community tables, TK was launched by a former lawyer with an insatiable love for simple but healthy tartes.
Diners have their choice of 10 savory tartes and 8 sweet tartes which can be enjoyed on the spot or ordered for take-out. I love the idea, the unique combinations and the ambiance.
What I should have assumed when making my reservation was that they would only be offering their brunch menu on Sunday; no à la carte orders.
Neither of us sporting a substantial appetite, we were dismayed by the idea of paying EUR 25 for a very large meal we'd never be able to finish. I thought maybe they'd let us share the brunch, and sure enough they were willing to accommodate.
First up was the carrot-candied lemon-coriander tart with a side of gazpacho, grains with mixed vegetables and a green salad. Everything was fresh, flavourful and made me very curious to try the tarts they offer on other days. We split the glass of juice and each had the bottomless coffee. A paper bag full of fresh baguette slices accompanied our meal.
Dessert was a chocolate tart with natural blueberry yogurt, a side of homemade granola, a fig purée and a mini macaroon; perfect for that sweet finish. Had our wallets been fuller and our appetites larger, we each could have easily piled away the brunch ourselves, but this hit the spot.
Take home a little Kluger with their homemade macarons and breads for continued delight.
6 rue de Forez, 75003
Lindsey is an Americn expat from Philadelphia who moved to Paris for love and adventure. You can read about her musings on Paris love, life, food and more on her blog Lost in Cheeseland.